Russell's Relations, Wittgenstein's Objects, and the Theory of Types

Teorema (2):21-35 (2012)
We discuss a previously unnoticed resemblance between the theory of relations and predicates in The Philosophy of Logical Atomism [TPLA] by Russell and the theory of objects and names in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus [TLP] by Wittgenstein. Points of likeness are detected on three levels: ontology, syntax, and semantics. This analogy explains the prima facie similarities between the informal presentation of the theory of types in TPLA and the sections of the TLP devoted to this same topic. Eventually, we draw some consequences concerning both sides of the analogy: for what concerns Russell, the contextual pertinence of this surprising fragment of Tractarian metaphysics and semantics is questioned on several grounds; about Wittgenstein, the interpreters who do not identify Tractarian objects with particulars are in a better position to make sense of the analogy here discovered.
Keywords Type theory  Russell  Wittgenstein
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